Metalsmith

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A bladesmith from Damascus, c. 1900 Damascus bladesmith.jpg
A bladesmith from Damascus, c. 1900

A metalsmith or simply smith is a craftsperson fashioning useful items (for example, tools, kitchenware, tableware, jewelry, armor and weapons) out of various metals. [1] Smithing is one of the oldest metalworking occupations. Shaping metal with a hammer (forging) is the archetypical component of smithing. Often the hammering is done while the metal is hot, having been heated in a forge. Smithing can also involve the other aspects of metalworking, such as refining metals from their ores (traditionally done by smelting), casting it into shapes (founding), and filing to shape and size.

Contents

The prevalence of metalworking in the culture of recent centuries has led Smith and its equivalents in various languages to be a common occupational surname (German Schmidt or Schmied, Portuguese Ferreiro, Ferreira, French Lefèvre, Spanish Herrero, Italian Fabbri, Ferrari, Ferrero, Ukrainian Koval etc.). As a suffix, -smith connotes a meaning of a specialized craftsperson—for example, wordsmith and tunesmith are nouns synonymous with writer or songwriter, respectively.

History

In pre-industrialized times, smiths held high or special social standing since they supplied the metal tools needed for farming (especially the plough) and warfare.[ citation needed ] More details on the history can be found in the article blacksmith.

Types of smiths

A metalsmith is one who works with or has the knowledge and the capacity of working with "all" metals.

Illustration by Theodor Kittelsen for Johan Herman Wessel's The Smith and the Baker Wessel smedbager02.jpg
Illustration by Theodor Kittelsen for Johan Herman Wessel's The Smith and the Baker

Types of smiths include: [2]

Artisans and craftspeople

Coppersmith Abdon Punzo in his workshop in Santa Clara del Cobre, Mexico PunzoWorkshop76.JPG
Coppersmith Abdón Punzo in his workshop in Santa Clara del Cobre, Mexico
"Aeolus's Weathervane" - detail of a weather vane created by using a variety of metalsmithing techniques Lafter3.jpg
"Aeolus's Weathervane" – detail of a weather vane created by using a variety of metalsmithing techniques

The ancient traditional tool of the smith is a forge or smithy, which is a furnace designed to allow compressed air (through a bellows) to superheat the inside, allowing for efficient melting, soldering and annealing of metals. Today, this tool is still widely used by blacksmiths as it was traditionally.

The term, metalsmith, often refers to artisans and craftpersons who practice their craft in many different metals, including gold, copper and silver. Jewelers often refer to their craft as metalsmithing, and many universities offer degree programs in metalsmithing, jewelry, enameling and blacksmithing under the auspices of their fine arts programs. [5]

Machinists

Machinists are metalsmiths who produce high-precision parts and tools. [6] The most advanced of these tools, CNC machines, are computer controlled and largely automated.

See also

Related Research Articles

Forge Workshops of a blacksmith, who is an ironsmith who makes iron into tools or other objects

A forge is a type of hearth used for heating metals, or the workplace (smithy) where such a hearth is located. The forge is used by the smith to heat a piece of metal to a temperature at which it becomes easier to shape by forging, or to the point at which work hardening no longer occurs. The metal is transported to and from the forge using tongs, which are also used to hold the workpiece on the smithy's anvil while the smith works it with a hammer. Sometimes, such as when hardening steel or cooling the work so that it may be handled with bare hands, the workpiece is transported to the slack tub, which rapidly cools the workpiece in a large body of water. However, depending on the metal type, it may require an oil quench or a salt brine instead; many metals require more than plain water hardening. The slack tub also provides water to control the fire in the forge.

Pattern welding Swordmaking technique

Pattern welding is the practice in sword and knife making of forming a blade of several metal pieces of differing composition that are forge-welded together and twisted and manipulated to form a pattern. Often mistakenly called Damascus steel, blades forged in this manner often display bands of slightly different patterning along their entire length. These bands can be highlighted for cosmetic purposes by proper polishing or acid etching. Pattern welding was an outgrowth of laminated or piled steel, a similar technique used to combine steels of different carbon contents, providing a desired mix of hardness and toughness. Although modern steelmaking processes negate the need to blend different steels, pattern welded steel is still used by custom knifemakers for the cosmetic effects it produces.

Blacksmith Person who creates wrought iron or steel products by forging, hammering, bending, and cutting

A blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects primarily from wrought iron or steel, but sometimes from other metals, by forging the metal, using tools to hammer, bend, and cut. Blacksmiths produce objects such as gates, grilles, railings, light fixtures, furniture, sculpture, tools, agricultural implements, decorative and religious items, cooking utensils, and weapons. There was an historical distinction between the heavy work of the blacksmith and the more delicate operation of a whitesmith, who usually worked in gold, silver, pewter, or the finishing steps of fine steel. The place where a blacksmith works is called variously a smithy, a forge or a blacksmith's shop.

Metalworking Process of making items from metal

Metalworking is the process of shaping and reshaping metals to create useful objects, parts, assemblies, and large scale structures. As a term it covers a wide and diverse range of processes, skills, and tools for producing objects on every scale: from huge ships, buildings, and bridges down to precise engine parts and delicate jewelry.

Anvil Metalworking tool

An anvil is a metalworking tool consisting of a large block of metal, with a flattened top surface, upon which another object is struck.

Coppersmith Person who makes artifacts from copper

A coppersmith, also known as a brazier, is a person who makes artifacts from copper and brass. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. The term "redsmith" is used for a tinsmith that uses tinsmithing tools and techniques to make copper items.

Fuller (groove) A groove swaged into a knife blade

A fuller is a rounded or beveled longitudinal groove or slot along the flat side of a blade that is made using a blacksmithing tool called a spring swage or, like the groove, a fuller. A fuller is often used to widen a blade. When combined with proper distal tapers, heat treatment and blade tempering, a fullered blade can be 20% to 35% lighter than a non-fullered blade with minimal sacrifice of strength or blade integrity. This effect lessens as the blade is reduced in length. A blade is said to be "fullered" after introduction of the groove.

Hardy tool Tools used with an anvil

Hardy tools, also known as anvil tools or bottom tools, are metalworking tools used in anvils. A hardy has a square shank, which prevents it from rotating when placed in the anvil's hardy hole. The term "hardy", used alone, refers to a hot cutting chisel used in the square hole of the anvil. Other bottom tools are identified by function. Typical hardy tools include chisels and bending drifts. They are generally used with a matching top tool.

A whitesmith is a metalworker who does finishing work on iron and steel such as filing, lathing, burnishing or polishing. The term also refers to a person who works with "white" or light-coloured metals, and is sometimes used as a synonym for tinsmith.

Tinsmith Person who makes and repairs things made of tin or other light metals

A tinsmith is a person who makes and repairs things made of tin or other light metals. The profession may sometimes also be known as a tinner, tinker, tinman, or tinplate worker; whitesmith may also refer to this profession, though the same word may also refer to an unrelated specialty of iron-smithing. By extension it can also refer to the person who deals in tinware, or tin plate. Tinsmith was a common occupation in pre-industrial times.

Bladesmith Person who uses an anvil and forge to make various types of blades

Bladesmithing is the art of making knives, swords, daggers and other blades using a forge, hammer, anvil, and other smithing tools. Bladesmiths employ a variety of metalworking techniques similar to those used by blacksmiths, as well as woodworking for knife and sword handles, and often leatherworking for sheaths. Bladesmithing is an art that is thousands of years old and found in cultures as diverse as China, Japan, India, Germany, Korea, the Middle East, Spain and the British Isles. As with any art shrouded in history, there are myths and misconceptions about the process. While traditionally bladesmithing referred to the manufacture of any blade by any means, the majority of contemporary craftsmen referred to as bladesmiths are those who primarily manufacture blades by means of using a forge to shape the blade as opposed to knifemakers who form blades by use of the stock removal method, although there is some overlap between both crafts.

Foldforming is a technique of metalworking whereby metal is folded, repeatedly forged and annealed, and unfolded; at which stage it generally has a dramatic new three-dimensional form. While alternate spellings abound (e.g., fold-forming, fold forming, Foldforming, and even form-folding, the definitive book "Foldforming" by Charles Lewton-Brain consistently uses the spelling of foldforming as one lowercase word.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to crafts:

Tinware

Tinware is any item made of prefabricated tinplate. Usually tinware refers to kitchenware made of tinplate, often crafted by tinsmiths. Many cans used for canned food are tinware as well. Something that is tinned after being shaped and fabricated is not considered tinware.

Albert Paley American modernist metal sculptor.

Albert Paley is an American modernist metal sculptor. Initially starting out as a jeweler, Paley has become one of the most distinguished and influential metalsmiths in the world. Within each of his works, three foundational elements stay true: the natural environment, the built environment, and the human presence. Paley is the first metal sculptor to have received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects. He lives and works in Rochester, New York with his wife, Frances.

The American Bladesmith Society, or ABS, is a non-profit organization composed of knifemakers whose primary function is to promote the techniques of forging steel blades. The ABS was founded by knifemaker William F. Moran, who came up with the concept in 1972 when he was Chairman of the Knifemakers' Guild; the following year, he introduced Damascus steel blades at an annual show. In 1976, he incorporated the organization, and it received non-profit status in 1985.

William Francis Moran Jr., also known as Bill Moran, was a pioneering American knifemaker who founded the American Bladesmith Society and reintroduced the process of making pattern welded steel to modern knife making. Moran's knives were sought after by celebrities and heads-of-state. The "William F. Moran School of Bladesmithing" bears his name and in addition to founding the ABS, he was a Blade Magazine Hall of Fame Member and a President of the Knifemakers' Guild.

Gary Lee Noffke is an American artist and metalsmith. Known for versatility and originality, he is a blacksmith, coppersmith, silversmith, goldsmith, and toolmaker. He has produced gold and silver hollowware, cutlery, jewelry, and forged steelware. Noffke is noted for his technical versatility, his pioneering research into hot forging, the introduction of new alloys, and his ability to both build on and challenge traditional techniques. He has been called the metalsmith's metalsmith, a pacesetter, and a maverick. He is also an educator who has mentored an entire generation of metalsmiths. He has received numerous awards and honors. He has exhibited internationally, and his work is represented in collections around the world.

<i>Forged in Fire</i> American television series

Forged in Fire is an American competition series that airs on the History channel and is produced by Outpost Entertainment, a Leftfield Entertainment company.

Linda Threadgill is an American artist whose primary emphasis is metalsmithing. Her metal work is inspired by forms of nature and the interpretations she gleans from the intricate patterns it presents. She explores the foundation of nature to allude to nature and transform it into re-imagined, stylized plants forms.

References

  1. "Definition of METALSMITH". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  2. John Fuller, Sr., Art of Coppersmithing, Astragal Press, 1993 (reprint of original edition, 1894) ISBN   1879335379 [ page needed ]
  3. "A Survey of English Bynames: Brownsmith". medievalscotland.org. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  4. Rupert Finegold and William Seitz, Silversmithing, Krause Publications, 1983, ISBN   0-8019-7232-9
  5. Tim McCreight, Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing, Hand Books Press, 1997, ISBN   1-880140-29-2
  6. "Definition of MACHINISTS". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 3 April 2018.